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How to Maximize Value After a Car Accident

When you are injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you probably know that you are likely entitled to seek compensation from that at-fault driver. However, anyone who has dealt with an insurance company knows that insurers don’t make the process simple.

At Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers, we have in-depth knowledge of all the factors that go into determining the value of your car accident claim. We also understand the steps that are necessary for maximizing the compensation you can receive.

If you have questions about your car accident case, contact Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers today at 1-800-LAW-GUYS to set up a free case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable Boston car accident attorneys.

Factors That Affect Car Accident Settlement Amounts

Factors that affect or increase settlement amounts include:

  • The severity of your injuries and other damages: In a car accident claim, you should demand compensation for the full amount of damages you have suffered. The more severe your injuries are, the more medical bills you will likely have. You may also need to take more time off work, or you may not be able to return to work at all. Severe injuries such as permanent and/or serious disfigurement, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, loss of use of body parts or bodily functions, or substantial loss of hearing or sight will likely require ongoing, expensive treatment. All of this, along with your pain and suffering, should be taken into account when determining what compensation is fair in your case.
  • Fault for the accident: Massachusetts applies the “modified comparative fault” rule, which means that your compensation for your damages may be reduced to account for any share of fault you bear for the accident. (If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you cannot recover any compensation.) Insurance companies will try to use this rule to their advantage and push the blame on you in an effort to reduce your compensation or deny your claim altogether.
  • The amount of insurance coverage available: Most drivers don’t have sufficient personal financial assets to compensate someone for severe injuries suffered in a car accident. Instead, they rely on their insurance coverage to provide compensation to an accident victim. Thus, the amount of compensation you receive in a settlement with an at-fault driver may end up being limited by the policy limits on the person’s insurance coverage. Of course, if you still have uncompensated damages after settling for the full extent of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, you may still be entitled to make a claim under your own policy’s underinsured motorist coverage.

Do’s and Don’ts to Increase Car Accident Case Value

In the hours, days, and weeks after your car accident, there are steps you should (and shouldn’t) take to maximize the value of your car accident claim. These include:

  • DO contact 911 or the police. Immediately after the accident, you should call 911 or law enforcement. An officer will come to the scene to prepare an accident report. In many cases, the police accident report can serve as critical evidence in a later car accident claim, as the report may set forth the investigating officer’s opinion as to who was at fault for the accident.
  • DO get the contact information for the at-fault driver. Be sure to get the person’s name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. Also get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
  • DO take photos of the accident scene and visible injuries. Photos and videos can serve as definitive evidence in your car accident claim. Try to record the positions of vehicles after the accident, any damage to the vehicles, any skid marks on the road, the road signs and traffic lights and controls at the scene, and the lighting, road, weather, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident. You should also document any visible injuries you suffered.
  • DO seek medical attention and follow up on treatment recommendations. Even if you declined medical attention at the accident scene, you should still follow up with your primary care physician or another medical provider as soon as possible. Pain or other symptoms of injury may take days or even weeks to manifest, whereas a doctor may be able to identify your injuries through a physical examination and begin treatment immediately. Promptly documenting your injuries will allow you to avoid the other side’s argument that you were not seriously injured in the accident and will allow you to better calculate your damages.
  • DON’T say you are sorry. Although your instinct after an accident might be to offer apologies, you should avoid doing so, or making other statements that could be construed as admitting fault. Those seemingly innocent statements may later be used against you in your claim for compensation.
  • DON’T give a statement to the insurance company or accept a settlement offer without first speaking with a car accident attorney. You should decline to give an insurance adjuster a statement regarding the accident without first speaking with an attorney. The adjuster will be looking to use your statement to deny your claim or offer you less than the full value of your claim. If you get a settlement offer from the insurance company, you should review the offer with an attorney to help decide whether it represents fair compensation for your claim.
  • DON’T talk about your accident on social media or post photos or videos of yourself after your accident. If you make statements about your accident on social media that conflict with statements you’ve given to the insurance company or made in a legal proceeding, the other side may use your social media posts to attack your credibility. If you post photos or videos of yourself on social media, especially photos or videos of yourself traveling or being active, the insurance company may cite those photos as evidence that you are not as seriously injured as you claim.

What’s the Average Boston Car Accident Settlement?

Every case is unique. The size or amount of your Boston car accident settlement will depend on the amount of damages you’ve sustained as a result of the accident. A fair car accident settlement will provide compensation for damages such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses (including co-pays and deductibles) for hospital says, doctor’s office visits, surgeries, rehab and therapy, prescription medication, or medical equipment
  • Lost wages for the time you miss from work during your recovery from your injuries
  • Lost earning capacity, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost quality of life, such as from physical disfigurements or disabilities
  • Property damage, including damage to your vehicle or property inside the vehicle

Our experienced car accident attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your case and your injuries and damages to determine what a fair settlement value should be.

What If I Am Partially at Fault for the Accident?

If you are found to be partially at fault for your car accident, you may wonder whether you can still seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Under Massachusetts’ modified comparative fault system, an injured plaintiff can still recover compensation so long as he or she was not in the majority at-fault (51% or more) for the accident. However, an injured plaintiff who is eligible to recover compensation but is found to be partially at fault will have his or her recovery reduced by that portion of fault.

For example, if you are deemed to be 20 percent at fault for your accident, and you have suffered $100,000 in damages, your $100,000 recovery will be reduced by 20 percent, or $20,000, to account for your share of fault. As a result, your ultimate recovery would be $80,000.

In many car accident cases, fault is hotly contested by the parties. An at-fault driver and the insurance company may try to argue that you bear the majority of fault for the accident so that you would be ineligible to recover compensation, or they may argue that you bear a higher share of fault to reduce the compensation you are owed. Our experienced Boston car accident attorney can effectively and aggressively advocate on your behalf to minimize or eliminate the share of fault that is placed on you.

When to Consult an Attorney

After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need to speak with an attorney about your case and when you should set up a consultation with a car accident lawyer. Ideally, you should make plans to speak to an attorney about your car accident as soon as possible, especially if you are injured and need medical treatment.

Soon after your crash, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters looking to discuss your accident or even to offer you compensation in exchange for settling any claims you may have arising from your accident. Although it can seem like the insurance companies are trying to help you, the sad reality is that the insurance companies are looking for any opportunity to minimize the amount of money they pay you, particularly before you have a chance to talk to a lawyer.

They may try to use any statements you give to an adjuster to claim that you were at fault for your accident, or they may offer you a quick settlement in the hope that the financial pressures of medical expenses and being out of work will force you to take far less than your case is worth.

You need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible, especially if you are being contacted by the insurance companies or even by defense attorneys. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. Once you have legal representation, you can have the insurance companies direct their communications to your attorney. That way, you can feel secure that your rights and interests are being protected in all your dealings with the insurance company.

How Can Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers Help Me?

When you’ve been hit by a negligent or reckless driver, you need experienced legal representation in order to ensure that you are demanding the maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. The dedicated Boston car accident lawyers of Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers want to help you pursue the fair and full financial recovery you deserve. We understand that recovering from a car accident that wasn’t your fault can be one of the most trying experiences in your life. We aim to take the stress and pressure off you.

We offer every client a free case evaluation to talk with us about the details of their case and learn more about their legal rights and options. If we believe that we can bring value to your case, we will get to work building a strong and effective legal claim by thoroughly investigating your accident and working with experts to demonstrate who was at fault for your crash.

When you choose Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers to handle your Boston car accident case, you’ll get the personalized service of a small law firm with the experience and resources of a big law firm. Our team is always available to you to answer your questions and concerns and keep you up to date on every development in your case. We stand behind our service and results and offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee for serious injury cases. If in 30 days you aren’t satisfied with the way we are handling your case, you can take your case file, no obligation necessary.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts, contact Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers today at 1-800-LAW-GUYS to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable car accident attorneys. You can discuss your case and learn more about how our firm can help you fight for the financial recovery you need and deserve from those responsible for your accident.

How can we help?

Fill out our contact form below for your free, no obligation case review.





I would highly recommend Michael Kelly to anyone who is seeking a knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated lawyer.

Frensis P.

your-law-guy-michael-kelly

MEET YOUR LAW GUY MICHAEL D. KELLY, ESQ.

Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.

HOW DO I CHOOSE AN AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER IN BOSTON?

You want to select a seasoned car accident attorney who you can trust to fight for you and never give up. At Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients.
  • You should work with a Boston lawyer who has a thorough knowledge of Massachusetts personal injury law.
     
  • You should choose an accident lawyer who has handled numerous similar cases. Our energetic lawyers at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers work on car accident cases every day.
     
     
  • You should select a lawyer who is a good communicator. one who will keep you informed of developments in your case and who will return your phone calls when you have questions.
     
     
     
  • You should select an lawyer who will investigate your case thoroughly and pursue it where it leads.
     
     
     
     
  • You should be represented by a lawyer who has proven skills in negotiating settlements with insurance companies. We have settled hundreds of cases.
     
     
  • You should select a trial lawyer who has the litigation skills to take your case to court if necessary. Having a trial lawyer negotiating on your behalf signals to the insurance companies that you are serious about receiving full compensation. Insurance companies are more likely to offer maximum compensation if they know they will end up in court otherwise. The lawyers at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers are talented, experienced trial lawyers.
     
     
     

WHAT CAR ACCIDENT COMPENSATION CAN BE RECOVERED IN BOSTON?

Related Information

If you have been injured in a car accident, you should initially file a claim with the insurer of the car in which you were riding. Drivers in Massachusetts are required to carry certain mandatory amounts of auto insurance coverage including Personal Injury Protection. This is sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance. PIP covers the medical bills for each person in the car who is injured in an accident. Regardless of who caused the accident, the insurance company should cover your medical bills for personal injuries and may cover a portion of your lost wages up to $8,000 per person, according to the terms of the policy.

If your injuries are more serious and exceed $2,000 or meet certain conditions such as involving broken bones, spinal cord injury, serious disfigurement, eye damage or hearing loss, burn injuries, then you may be entitled to file a car accident lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries and other losses if another driver was at fault in the accident.

Medical Bills

You may have a right to seek car accident compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation, prescribe medicines and the costs of your future medical treatment for rehabilitation related to your injuries.

Lost Wages

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows you to seek compensation for lost income if your injuries forced you to miss work. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or limit the type of work you can perform, then you may seek compensation for your reduced earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Massachusetts juries may award compensation for both physical and emotional pain. You may seek compensation for your pain and mental anguish, as well as the past and future shock and anxiety resulting from your injury. This is commonly referred to as pain and suffering.

Disfigurement

If your injuries caused scarring and disfigurement, the loss of a limb or changes in your appearance, you may seek compensation for disfigurement.

Property Damage

You may seek compensation to pay for your car repairs or replace your car if it was totaled.

WHO IS AT FAULT AND MASSACHUSETTS NO-FAULT RULES

All drivers in the state of Massachusetts have a legal responsibility to operate their cars with reasonable care so they do not put other at risk. If a driver shirks his or her legal duty and drivers in a careless manner such as speeding running a traffic light, the driver is considered to be negligent in the eyes of the law.

An insurance claims adjuster will make a determination of fault based on the police accident report, witness statements, medical records, and evidence gathered at the scene.

In some car accidents, more than one driver or other party is partially at fault. Massachussetts uses the legal doctrine of comparative fault in these cases. A jury will be instructed to determine the degree of fault that each party bears for causing an accident. In the Commonwealth, you may still collect damages in a car accident lawsuit so long as you are no more that 50 percent responsible for causing of your injuries. If you are found to be partly responsible, any car accident compensation you are awarded would be reduced proportionately by your percentage of fault.

For example, if a Suffolk County jury awarded $100,000 in damages and found that you were 25 percent at fault for causing your own injuries, then you would be entitled to recieve $75,000 in damages.

For minor accidents, Massachusetts handles most of them under No Fault rules. In this situation drivers cannot take each other to court for auto accidents unless the following conditions occur:

You have incurred $2,000 or more in medical bills or other expenses.

You have suffered a serious injury as the result of a Boston auto accident which can include loss of hearing or vision, broken bones and or permanent disfigurement.

MASSACHUSETTS CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

The state of Massachusetts has a few specific requirements for car insurance to make sure residents have coverage that is adequate in case they are involved in an accident. These requirements are in place to protect you but can quickly increase the cost of your policy's rates depending on the limits you choose. If you're a safe driver you will probably be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium.

You must carry the following 4 types of insurance if you own a vehicle in the state of Massachusetts:

Bodily Injury
to Other

$20,000
per person

$40,000
per accident

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

$8,000
per person in an accident

Damage to Someone Else's Property

$5,000
per accident

Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto

$20,000
per person

$40,000
per accident

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is coverage that will cover you or your passenger's injuries caused in an auto accident. This coverage is there regardless of who is at fault.

BOSTON CAR ACCIDENT STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

You have three years from the date of your auto accident to file a car accident claim in a Massachusetts court. This statue of limitations is your deadline and is the same three years for wrongful death and product liability cases. The deadline may be extended in special circumstances to allow for discovery of an injury if it was not detectable until long after the crash.

For claims againts a government entity. claims must be handled within 30 days of the accident or injury.

BOSTON CAR ACCIDENT STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Dealing with a insurance company that has denied your claim can be extremely frustrating. If you are trying to recover from a serious injury such as broken bones, it can add to your stress and slow your recovery. It is important to understand why your claim was denied.

You should seek the help of a Boston car accident lawyer if another driver's insurance company has denied your claim. An experienced attorney can review the facts regarding the auto accident claim and explain whether you

have a valid claim and what steps to take. Having a clear understanding of your legal options is important to know how to proceed. If the insurance company was acting in bad faith, the accident lawsuit on your behalf against the at-fault driver and his or her insurer to pursue car accident compensation.

CAUSE OF CAR ACCIDENTS NEAR ME

It is well known that boston is a dangerous place to drive. Boston has heavy commuter traffic and a high number of aggressive drivers that make it more likely that you or someone you know will be involved in a serious accident. There are many types of driver behaviors that prove to be dangerous or deadly. Among the common causes of accidents are:
AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
Blind Spots
Work Zone Construction

COMMON TYPES OF CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUITS

Side-Impact
Multi-Vehicle Accidents
Rollovers